Fall colours at Birdseye Ranch, Waterton (Photo by Brent Calver)

Fall colours at Birdseye Ranch, Waterton (Photo by Brent Calver)

My connection to conservation

A summer spent on the Bowron Lake Canoe Circuit (Photo courtesy of Duncan Dube)

A summer spent on the Bowron Lake Canoe Circuit (Photo courtesy of Duncan Dube)

Molly Dube is the 2019 communications intern for the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) Alberta Region. She is currently studying natural resource conservation at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Molly is passionate about Canadian conservation and environmental protection. Her goal is to communicate conservation information in a way that will get people excited, inspired to learn more and take action.

I’ve always had a strong connection to nature. My summers growing up were spent with my family and a 60-pound pack, carrying a week’s worth of food and gear in the Canadian wilderness. My family and I backpacked through the forests of the West Coast, canoed through the lakes and rivers of Interior BC and hiked up and down the Rockies.

Regardless of how heavy my pack was, I’d always make sure I had enough room to stuff in a couple of paperback books. When I wasn’t out doing something, I was reading. A good story could take me happily out of reality and into a different world for hours at a time. A couple hundred pages could change the way I looked at the world.

It amazed me what a talented writer could create using just words. I wanted to be able to use words the same way: to bring out a feeling, paint a picture, and share my experiences with people who couldn’t be there to live them with me.

As I hiked, I’d practise describing my experiences and the land around me aloud, and see how well I could capture a landscape or a scene and recreate it in writing. I filled notebooks with descriptions of the places I had been to and snapshots of beautiful moments I’d had in nature.

Canada is full of breathtaking places, and I wanted to see and write about all of them. On top of that, I was curious about how and why nature worked the way it did. I figured that if I understood how these processes worked and tied into one another then I’d be able to write about them better. I chose to pursue a degree in environmental science, and hoped to be able to make a career doing something I’m passionate about.

A family photo taken on the West Coast Trail (Photo courtesy of Duncan Dube)

A family photo taken on the West Coast Trail (Photo courtesy of Duncan Dube)

Through my time in school, I’ve met some incredible people whose lives have been guided by their connection with nature. Listening to each other’s stories and shared experiences has made me realize that my connection with nature is the foundation for many of my connections with others.

Since the environment is such an important part of my life, I am so excited for the opportunity to work with an organization whose mission makes a huge difference. NCC does conservation work that counts. Its actions and decisions are guided by conservation science, which is built from management and practices that are proven and effective. The land that NCC manages and conserves is done responsibly and with the long-term in mind.

In my position with NCC, I have the opportunity to develop my writing and communication skills. I am able to practise finding and creating stories that connect people to the environment and (hopefully) inspire people. Canada’s precious natural places are quickly becoming polluted, developed or destroyed. It is important to me that the work that we do today is meaningful, and that these places that inspire me will be protected today and in the future.

I was fortunate to grow up in some of the most beautiful and wild landscapes on Earth. Nature has shaped who I am and how I connect with others, and I am so lucky to work with NCC to help protect this land.

The Conservation Internship Program is funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Summer Work Experience program.

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